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Celebrity Advocates At The Democratic National Convention

Don't hold your breath in hope of hearing presidential nominee Hillary Clinton or her vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine discuss marijuana at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this week. Clinton is, at best, a tepid supporter of marijuana reform while Kaine opposes legalization. But cannabis will be represented at the DNC by a number of pro-legalization celebrities who are showing up to support (or protest) the event.

Here are six famous advocates to look for.

1. Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman Tribeca Film Festival

After "feeling the Bern" during the primary season, comedian Sarah Silverman has warmed up to Hillary. On Monday, she and fellow Saturday Night Live alum Al Franken teamed up to address the convention. And Silverman caused a bit of controversy by calling Bernie supporters who refused to support Clinton "ridiculous" during her remarks. 

Silverman is serious about the election as well as marijuana, which she enjoys in her off hours but avoids when working.

"Only when all work is done, and just a puff or two as a treat. I never smoke pot, like if I were going to come here," she told author Andy Borowitz in 2013. "But I have found if I smoke a little pot before I play basketball I become amazing, and I hear myself saying things like 'not on my watch' a lot." 

2. Bryan Cranston

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Bryan Cranston arrives at the 2013 Palm Springs International Film Festival Gala at Palm Springs Convention Center on January 5, 2013 in Palm Springs, CA, (Helga Esteb /

The Breaking Bad star will be appearing at a luncheon held by Minority House Leader Nancy Pelosi this week. While rubbing elbows with DNC insiders, we hope Cranston shares his views on legalization. Cranston doesn't smoke marijuana himself, but he supports legalization. In 2012, he told High Times that cannabis should be treated no differently than alcohol. 

"Marijuana started out with a bad connotation, as you know - but to me, marijuana is no different than wine. It's a drug of choice. It's meant to alter your current state - and that's not a bad thing. It's ridiculous that marijuana is still illegal. We're still fighting for it."

3. Rosario Dawson

Rosario Dawson by DINOBRA

Fatima Haidara /

Not everyone attending the convention is there to back Hillary. Rosario Dawson - a fervent Bernie supporter - is in Philadelphia this week to protest the DNC's handling of the primaries after emails released by Wikileaks revealed that party insiders may have tampered with the process. Just before the event began, she made it clear on Twitter that she intends to continue Sanders' fight for democratic reform even though Bernie has endorsed Clinton.

Dawson has also been an outspoken critic of marijuana prohibition. In 2010, she told CNN that she supported legalization because it would let law enforcers focus on more important issues.

"I'm for the legalization or marijuana, absolutely," she said. "We've got a lot of things that we need to be putting our focus and attention on and it'd be really great to take it off of joints.”

4. Susan Sarandon

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Susan Sarandon at the Los Angeles premiere of "Cloud Atlas" at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood. October 24, 2012 Los Angeles, CA, (Featureflash Photo Agency /

Rosario Dawson isn't the only actress arriving to protest the DNC's handling of the primaries. Susan Sarandon was also appalled by the revelations from Wikileaks and she made her displeasure known during the first day of the convention. 

Sarandon confirmed that assessment by tweeting "Accurate" in response to Ian McKenna. The Thelma & Louise star is also an outspoken supporter of legalization. In 2010, she literally lent her voice to the campaign to legalize recreational marijuana use in California by recording an automated message to promote it. And she's also an outspoken consumer who once invited rapper A$AP Rocky to smoke a joint with her and discuss his lyrics.

5. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at the Ceremony Honoring Los Angeles Lakers Owner Jerry Buss with the 2,323rd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA. (s_bukley /

The NBA legend will be speaking in support of Hillary at the convention this week. And it's not the first time that he's voiced support for the former secretary of state. Last April, Abdul-Jabbar wrote an impassioned column for The Washington Post calling on Americans to support Clinton because she was best equipped to defeat Donald Trump and his brand of divisive politics. 

"[E]lecting Clinton is important not just to maintaining the integrity of the United States but also to preventing an international trend that threatens to unleash a triumph of hatred and fear over reason," Abdul-Jabbar wrote. "We are in a defining battle between the resurgence of the irrational, and all the horrors that have historically gone with it — violence, bigotry, fascism — and reason, with all the advances that have accompanied it — justice and freedom for all, regardless of ethnic background, social status, gender or sexual orientation."

Abul-Jabbar has equally thoughtful things to say about cannabis use. In his autobiography Giant Steps (1983), he wrote that he doesn't care if people in or outside the NBA have a joint now and then as long as they consume responsibly.

"I don't really care who's doing drugs in the NBA as long as the scene isn't adversely affecting my team and teammates," he wrote. "I've known enough drug users--going as far back as grade school and the streets of New York--not to view them as pariahs or lost souls. I've certainly smoked more than my quota of weed. For a while there at UCLA I didn't want to hang out with anyone who didn't smoke reefer, but that was as parochial a view of the world as any uptight antidoper's, and I got over it quickly."

6. Snoop Dogg

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JULY 28, 2015: SNOOP DOGG performs on stage at the Lucca summer festival in July in the beautiful city of LUCCA in ITALY. (stedalle /

The iconic rapper will be pitching in to bring the party back together after a long and divisive battle for the party's presidential nomination. Snoop is slated to headline the "Unity Party" concert that will wrap up the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia July 28. 

Given that Snoop is perhaps the most outspoken celebrity supporter of marijuana legalization, you might expect that he is also a Bernie supporter - Sanders was far more progressive than Clinton on the issue. But for The Doggfather, feminism trumped cannabis in the 2016 election. 

When discussing his pick for the 2016 Democratic nomination last May on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live, Snoop endorsed Clinton.

"I would love to see a woman in office," he said. "And just to have a woman speaking from a global perspective as far as representing America, I would love to see that. So I'll be voting for Ms. Clinton."

But can he convince Dawson, Sarandon and other hardline Sanders supporters to back Hillary?

h/t Very Important Potheads

Banner image: Bryan Cranston speaking at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con International, for "Breaking Bad", at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. (Gage Skidmore / 


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